Our Journey South to Willoughby Harbor Norfolk, VA

Trip Start Dec 09, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Sunday, December 17, 2006

We woke up in the early morning hours of December 16 to begin our fantastic voyage south.  Dave had enlisted the support of three of his seasoned sailor friends--Paul, John and Carter--who would help us make what would amount to a 28-1/2 hour long passage down the Chesapeake Bay, leaving from Georgetown Yacht Basin on the Sassafras River destined for Willoughby Harbor Marina in Norfolk, Virginia.  That would put us under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at sunset--lovely!  Yesterday we had driven both cars to Norfolk so that Dave's could be left at the marina.  We picked up Paul, John and Carter and headed back for Arlington to stay the night. 

All five of us (with equipment and supplies) bundled into Donna's sedan to head from Arlington to Georgetown, MD.  The guys helped remove two of the three secondary anchors on the boat to the car for storage at home--Dave doesn't like to tote around any unnecessary weight to crimp his "performance"!  After inflating the dinghy fully, we paid the prior week's marina fee, and we were off!  We'd come back for the car later.

The whole day was forecast to be sunny, calm and unseasonably warm and proved to be so.  While we were lucky to have the warmer weather (eventual high 55 degrees) for mid-December, we had no wind in our favor for sailing.  We had to motor all day and night long with temperatures dropping back below 45 degrees.  At 1700 hours we started a 3-hour watch schedule.  Since the boat is very happy with the operation of a single engine, we alternated engines with the watch schedule so that while people were bunking in the port aft cabin they weren't bothered by any port engine noise.  Donna made sure that the crew was well fed and the guys even made their own coffee to stay warm and awake!

On Sunday at daybreak we hoisted sails to take advantage of 15-20 knots of SW wind for a few hours until our direction had to be altered directly into the wind.  We dropped the sails and motored the final hours to Willoughby Harbor, arriving at 1300 hours. 

Dave's long-time friends living on the waterfront in Norfolk were radioed during our approach so they could view us through their telescope. Take a look at the photo of the view Dave and Claire captured!  They met us for our arrival at the dock along with other friends Danny and Gail, Robin, and Paul's wife Linda.

Enjoy the attached 3-1/2 minute video of our sail down the length of the Chesapeake.  Remember that it's mid-December which explains why we're all bundled up!  Hopefully this will be the last time that we ever have to wear this much clothing on the boat!

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